Devon Bird Sightings from 22nd–30th November 2012

2020 Records request

If you saw any of the records below please submit a description to the County Recorder to ensure they make the official record. Many thanks.

·         Bee-eater 03-Aug Wistlandpound Res

·         Caspian Gull 15-Apr Fremington Pill

·         Caspian Gull 14- Sep Powderham

·         Crane [3] 22-Mar Milton Abbot

·         Crane [2] 24-Jun nr Ottery

·         Glossy Ibis 20-Jun South Efford Marsh

·         Glossy Ibis  02-Nov Seaton Marshes

·         Golden Oriole 07-Apr Fremington Pill

·         Golden Oriole 28-May Weston Mill

·         Golden Oriole [2] 23-Jun Bolt Head

·         Greenland WF Goose 20-Dec Roadford




·         Green-winged Teal Nov/Dec Exe Estuary

·         Grey Partridge 13-May Bishops Tawton

·         Grey Partridge 12-Nov Exminster Marshes

·         Leach's Petrel 30- Sep Labrador Bay

·          Leach's Petrel 31-Oct Sidmouth

·        Long-tailed Skua 04-Jul Dawlish Warren

·         Montagu's Harrier 17-May West Dart River

·         Ring-necked Duck Jan/Feb Meeth

·         Spotted Crake 09-Apr East Down

·        Stone-curlew [2] 22-Sep South Huish



Posted June 18th at 11:40 pm by Kevin Rylands in Bird News


At a recent Council Meeting it was agreed that Field Trips (Guided Walks) and Indoor Meetings could restart as soon as Branches were happy to proceed, with all necessary Covid safe precautions in place. 

Full details are now on the website.

Taw & Torridge Branch will not be re-starting Indoor or Outdoor Meetings before January 2022.

Posted April 16th at 11:17 am by Mike Daniels in Bird News

Think before you post...!


Please think very carefully before posting any information on scarce or rare breeding species both here and elsewhere online.

A list of ‘at risk’ species in the county can be found here. Please note that Wood Warbler should now also be treated as on the list. All species included need to be protected - many receive full legal protection under Schedule 1 and/or are rare in the county and may be vulnerable to persecution/disturbance. It is an offence to intentionally disturb any of the Schedule 1 species during the breeding season without a valid licence. This also applies to anyone taking photographs of these species at or near the nest or whilst feeding dependant young.

Some species may be found breeding at numerous locations however please keep information on these species limited to well-known sites (e.g. Labrador Bay for Cirl Bunting, Aylesbeare Common for Dartford Warbler). Others may be found as obvious migrants and as such can also be posted eg coastal Ring Ouzel and passage waders, or raptors eg Little Ringed PloverRed Kite or Marsh Harrier.

If you have any doubts and think there is a chance there may be breeding, either because of the habitat or behaviour of the bird(s) then do not post, but please submit your records to the County Recorder and the RSPB.

Please be aware that egg collecting and other forms of persecution remain very real hazards for some of Devon’s birds.

Posts which breach these guidelines are likely to be not admitted / removed althogether, rather than edited.  


Posted March 15th at 11:56 am by Mike Langman in Bird News


If you follow our Blog but are not currently a member of Devon Birds please consider joining Devon Birds to help with the upkeep of running the website and this service as well as our valuable conservation work.

Posted October 10th, 2016 at 9:14 am in Bird News

Wednesday 28th November 2012

Thurlestone Bay

 On T'stone Marsh early - 10 Snipe, 8 Lapwing, 15 Teal, 14 Wigeon, 5 Shoveler.

More duck on South Huish Marsh - 80 Wigeon, 100+ Teal, 6 Pintail, 5 Shoveler, 2 Gadwall, the Brent Goose , 1 Lapwing . A Merlin flew through.

Offshore- Another Brent Goose, 1 Great N Diver, 13 Wigeon ( on sea ) , late afternoon 14 came in high off the sea and went straight up the valley.

Bob B ringing at S M Ley had 30+ Chiffchaff ( he ringed 9 )also 3 Brambling visiting his feeding station

Posted November 28th, 2012 at 5:23 pm by Mike Passman in Bird News

Matford waxwings

After work this afternoon walked down towards the matford park and ride when 10+ waxwings flew over head and watched them flying over the fields towards matford marsh this was about 14:30 tried to refind them along the cycle path only found 4 chiffchaffs with 1 possible  pale Tristis type ( no call heard) will look again tomorrow 

Also 2 jay and 2 buzzards 

Posted November 28th, 2012 at 4:51 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Berry Hd

At least 22 Waxwing were present at Berry Hd this morning - still 3 around late this afternoon.

Waxwing 1w male Berry Hd 28 Nov 2012 ML    Waxwing 1w female Berry Hd 28 Nov 2012 ML    Waxwing ad female Berry Hd 28 Nov 2012 ML

above: from left to right 1w male, 1w female and ad female

Posted November 28th, 2012 at 4:25 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake - Wedneday 28th

Lower Tamar Lake, Wednesday

A walk along the lakeside in very muddy conditions revealed :

4 Goosander (3 males; 4 Great Crested Grebes; 20+ Mallard; 79 Canada Geese; 10+ Teal; 1 Grey Heron; 1 Marsh Tit; several Blue and Great Tits, 1 Coal Tit; 2 Nuthatches; 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 4 Chaffinches on the feeders; 1 Raven and 1 Buzzard over.

On 19th Nov. 4 Whooper Swans were reported on the Upper Lake by Malcolm Shakespeare.

Harvey Kendall

Posted November 28th, 2012 at 3:31 pm by Harvey Kendall in Bird News


On the pond still at least 12 Wigeon, but now a pair of Gadwall have joined the 2 drakes. In the reserve at least 2 Chiffchaffs

Posted November 28th, 2012 at 3:22 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Ashford Strand, River Taw.

13:30 - 14:30

c3500 Golden Plover. A conservative estimate, the sky was full of them.

c500 Dunlin; 84 Sanderling; c2000 Lapwing; 15 Wigeon and just 2 Little Egrets.

Posted November 28th, 2012 at 3:16 pm by Maurice Clements in Bird News

barn owl

driving home from night shift in plymouth saw a beautiful barn owl sat on fencing on chudleigh road near alphington, Exeter

Posted November 28th, 2012 at 11:22 am by neal woodhead in Bird News

Berry Hd

Nigel Smallbones phoned in: 3 Waxwings were still present at Berry Head and 7 Crossbills flew over .

Posted November 28th, 2012 at 9:21 am by Mike Langman in Bird News


Gypsy Lane - 19 waxwing in poplar beside entrance to the community college this morning with a possible 20th bird by the traffic lights at the junction with Gypsy Lane and Exeter Rd.

Posted November 28th, 2012 at 8:11 am by Matt Knott in Bird News

Tuesday 27th November 2012

Thurlestone Bay

Early morning on T'stone marsh- 5 Little Egret - flew off up the valley at 07.45, 40 Teal, 12 Wigeon, 5 Shoveler, 10 Lapwing , 1 Snipe.

A new site record for South Huish Marsh - a diving Great Crested Grebe flew off at 11.30. Also 55 Teal, 45 Wigeon , 1m Gadwall and 8 Pintail ( 3m 5f ) 15 Snipe and the Brent Goose.

Offshore a feeding group of 110 gannet, 4 Kittiwake , 6 Common Scoter, 1 Great N Diver flew east and a

RED T Diver flew into the bay and landed on the sea

Posted November 27th, 2012 at 6:04 pm by Mike Passman in Bird News


Gipsy Lane - 14 waxwing on return visit - spending most of their time in the tall poplar next to the entrance of the college on Gipsy Lane.

Belated news for 20/11 - gull showing some pro-american herring gull features including apparent almost wholly dark tail (limited pale bases to outer retrices only) present late afternoon on Maer Rocks. Unfortunately no undertail covert detail seen and tail/uppertail coverts not seen well enough to further the identification. May be worth looking out for though - see photo.

waxwings - exmouth community college
waxwings - exmouth community college

gull sp showing some features of american herring gull - 20/11
gull sp showing some features of american herring gull - 20/11

Posted November 27th, 2012 at 4:36 pm by Matt Knott in Bird News


Gipsy Lane - 12+ waxwings at entrance to the community college at 3pm. In tall trees at the moment but they may be eyeing up the ornamental rowans inside the grounds, viewable from the main gate! Going to try for photos in a minute.

Posted November 27th, 2012 at 3:22 pm by Matt Knott in Bird News


With the sterling efforts of Maurice (on Mattock) and Patrick (on mega strimmer) we planted up the second enclosure and made a good start on the last one. One more session should see the job finished.

Buzzard and a smattering of Meadow Pipits.

We were approached by an interested third party as we finished up asking if it's legal for the shooters in the field just across Bradiford Water to be putting grain down to attract the ducks and geese before shooting them? Not much point in having a reserve designed for birds to rest in if the local shoot is taking advantage if it....

Posted November 27th, 2012 at 2:10 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Berry Hd and Broadsands

There are now 30 or more Waxwing at Berry Hd!

Broadsands:  Whilst feeding the Cirl buntings (7 Today but 11+ yesterday) this morning a drake Smew flew in from the sea, semi circled the car park at about 30m height and then went whizzing off inland - sort of heading W-WNW. I've checked Clennon and Stoke Gabriel Mill pond but there was no sign of it.

1 sinensis Cormorant (right hand bird) with at least 5 carbo cormorants at Stoke Gabriel Mill Pond:

SinssCrmntStkGbrl271112ML1     SinssCrmntStkGbrl271112ML2

Posted November 27th, 2012 at 12:36 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

South Efford Marsh, Aveton Gifford

Just two water pipits at the east end of the marsh this morning.

Also peregrine & sparrowhawk over.

Anyone know of a large starling roost between Plymouth & Slapton?

Posted November 27th, 2012 at 12:00 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Monday 26th November 2012

Wembury Water Pipit

See below

Posted November 26th, 2012 at 10:01 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News


A Water Pipit on the beach this morning. I spent several hours studying this bird. It is not a particularly obvious individual and I considered littoralis, mainly because of the legs appearing consistently dark in the field (despite photos suggesting otherwise) and the rather short and indistinct supercilium compared with typical Water. However, the very pale underparts (and sparse steaking below breast), colouration of uppers, gleaming white outer tail feathers and call, won the day. Latter was occasional short harsh note amongst Rock-like calls. 

Interesting that Dave has reported a littoralis-type today and Water Pipits are about at Averton Gifford too, so various possibilities. Not always an easy group though!


Posted November 26th, 2012 at 9:36 pm by Pete Aley in Bird News

Tamar estuary, Plymouth.

No sign of the Lesser Yellowlegs today at low tide but I didn't walk up beside the creek so it's no doubt in there somewhere.

From the causeway a Spotted Redshank was showing well along with four Greenshank.

Further down river at the outfall were eighty Avocets, eighty four Black tailed Godwits (one ringed), a single Bar tailed Godwit and forty Oystercatchers and a solitary Common Gull.  Also here were ten Wigeon plus a Chiffchaff.

Posted November 26th, 2012 at 5:11 pm in Bird News



Possible Scandinavian Rock Pipit Broadsands 26/11 DN

The pale Scandinavian-looking Rock Pipit was showing again by the flood pool ,late am. Also a Firecrest by the ditch and a Brambling on the seed.  

Posted November 26th, 2012 at 5:11 pm in Bird News

Aveton Gifford & West Charleton Marsh

On South Efford marsh at AG, 4 water pipits contrasting nicely with a rock pipit and c.20 meadow pipits.

Mid-afternoon at West Charleton turned up 6 pintail, 28 teal and 23 snipe. In the estuary 5 great crested grebes & 4 red-breasted mergansers.

Posted November 26th, 2012 at 4:17 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Clennon Valley

Chiffchaff numbers building at both Clennon and Broadsands where at least one abietinus/tristis still present (at both Sites) also at Clennon 2 Firecrest.

abietinus/tristis Chiffchaff Clennon Valley 26 Nov 2012 ML firecrest Clennon Valley 26 Nov 2012 NL2

Photos: Clennon Valley abietinus/tristis Chiffchaff and Firecrest.

Posted November 26th, 2012 at 2:54 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

No sign of the Black Redstart at lunchtime but the Little owl showing well. A pair of Stonechats and 80 Fieldfare. Starlings beginning to increase with around 400 today. In a pig field close to Smeatharpe village another 60 Fieldfare and a Green Sandpiper.

Posted November 26th, 2012 at 2:45 pm in Bird News

Berry Hd

One of the rangers at Berry Head emailed with a sighting of a Waxwing just above the quarry in scrub at Berry Hd at about 10am this morning. I decided to go over and found two in the same area. Josh Marshall then arrived, while watching the two we picked up two more flying over calling - our two birds flew up to join them, luckily all four then dropped back into the bushes for 10 mins before the all flew off, first high East then headed back West. Perhaps they dropped back in near the radar station area... 

Waxwing Berry Hd 26 Nov 2012 ML waxwings Berry Hd 26 Nov 2012ML

Posted November 26th, 2012 at 2:18 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Shelly Beach, Exmouth

Male Black Redstart on roof of Leeward Court at 1330hrs. 2 Goldeneye off Shelly Beach plus one Little Grebe there.

Posted November 26th, 2012 at 2:16 pm by Terry Smith in Bird News

Berry Head - Waxwings

Call from Mike Langman to say that a Berry Head ranger had located a waxwing near to the fort.

On arriving I met up with Mike and who beileved there were 2 on site which we were soon able to confirm.

Another 2 birds then flew in making a total of 4 birds! They were very steady, taking up residence in a bush near to the path while Brixhams entire population of dogs walked past.

They departed flying towards Brixham at about 1335hrs

Some shots below and video showing them 'trilling' that I mangaed to capture, some more I imagine from Mike later.

Waxwing, Berry Head
Waxwing, Berry Head

Waxwing, Berry Head
Waxwing, Berry Head

Click here for video footage of the birds including the calls

Posted November 26th, 2012 at 2:12 pm by Josh Marshall in Bird News

Bradiford reserve

Been in Bradiford reserve most of the morning witrh Maurice finally planting trees/shrubs in the enclosures. Finished one of the three and started on a second. We will be back tomorrow at ten a.m. if anyone is free to lend a hand??

A few Meadow Pipits about the reserve, and the semi-resident Buzzard also put in an appearance along with a female Sparrowhawk.

Posted November 26th, 2012 at 12:36 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Sunday 25th November 2012

Bowling green marsh

The female long tailed duck was still showing well this afternoon as was the spotted redshank, an unusual high tide with very few waders in, a kingfisher showed twice, 3 pochard, 7+ tufted duck, 30+ shoveler, 150+ wigeon, little grebe, 40+ lapwing, 2 snipe.

from the quay in topsham 7+ red breasted mergansers (5m,2f)

Posted November 25th, 2012 at 9:01 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News

Thurlestone Bay

Returned after a visit to Norfolk to find both marshes in full flood - highest water levels I have known . On the positive side big increase in Duck no's

This am T'stone Marsh held -70 Teal, 7 Shoveler, 9 Wigeon, 11 Lapwing, 8 Snipe, 1 Brent Goose

On South Huish Marsh - 40 Wigeon, 75 Teal, 2 Shoveler, 2m 1 f Pintail, 15 Snipe.

Offshore only 20 Gannet, On the rocks 12 Turnstone, 1 Ringed Plover

Posted November 25th, 2012 at 4:55 pm by Mike Passman in Bird News

Holne Moor

Sunday 25th November.

Above river Dart. 1 Woodcock, Small Mixed flocks of Fieldfare and Redwing on Holly and Hawthorn.

Out on the moor roosting in a force 8 gale, 70+ Golden Plover.

Posted November 25th, 2012 at 2:41 pm by David Turrell in Bird News

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

This morning, a female/immature type Black Redstart on the fence to the right of the control tower was new for the site. Around 150 Fieldfares with a few Redwing mixed in, a single male Stonechat, 2 Snipe and about 80 Skylarks.

Yesterday driving past mid afternoon around 30 Golden Plover sitting out the dreadful weather but no sign this morning.


Posted November 25th, 2012 at 2:12 pm in Bird News


Please note that due to various cliff falls, the path from the beach to the point is closed (but you could get round on the beach. Around one of the cliff falls at the beach, there was a cracking male Black Red that vapourised immediately after this photo and no sign after but must be around still.

Posted November 25th, 2012 at 11:56 am by Richard Billington in Bird News


Pretty much everything tucked into Broadsands/Elberry area - not surprisingly after the gales yesterday: 10 Black-necked Grebes, 11 Great Northern Divers, 28 Great Crested Grebes, 31 Common Scoter, 1 Red-breasted Merganser, 1 Razorbill and 1 Guillemot.

Around Broadsands: 8 Cirl Buntings on seed in back of 2nd car park and 2 Reed Bunting, 1 Firecrest, 3 Goldcrest, 5 Chiffchaff, 1 Siberian Chiffchaff and one abietinus/tristis Chiffchaff. The possible Scandinavian Rock Pipit still on the damp meadow behind the beach and a 2nd W Mediterranean Gull with Black-headed Gulls off the beach.


Posted November 25th, 2012 at 10:24 am by Mike Langman in Bird News

Saturday 24th November 2012

Bowling green marsh

Watched from the hide 13:20 till 15:45

the female long tailed duck showed very well at times, lots of disturbance from a female sparrowhawk made counting very difficult , the adult spotted redshank came in with 130+ redshank, 4 grey plover, 3+ knot, 30+ dunlin, 185+ avocet, 100+ Bar tailed godwit, 700+ black tailed godwits, 50+ lapwing, 4+ snipe, 2 Cetti's warbler, 3 pochard , 3 gadwall, 8+ tufted duck , 30+ shovelers , 100+ wigeon, 13+ greylag geese

Posted November 24th, 2012 at 7:33 pm by Keith Birchall in Bird News


13 Wigeon 1 Gadwall and 2 Shoveler on the pond still and in the reserve, 30+ Redwing and 40+ Fieldfare.

Posted November 24th, 2012 at 3:51 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News


30 Redpoll in a private area of village at 11:30.

Posted November 24th, 2012 at 3:13 pm by Robert Marshall in Bird News

Shoalstone, Brixham & Broadsands

Shoalstone:seawatch from the shelter between 1300-1400hrs produced: 1 Great Northern Diver, 14 Kittiwake, 23 Auks and about 30+ Gannets.

Broadsands: A brief look over the sea wall produced 7 Great Northern Divers and 1 Red-breasted Merganser.

Posted November 24th, 2012 at 2:35 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Brambling at Darts Farm

3 Brambling on the bird table by the hide. Large mixed flock of finches - Linnet, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Greenfinch. Out on the wetland plenty of Wigeon and Teal along with a Kingfisher active around the site.

Posted November 24th, 2012 at 1:04 pm by Gareth Williams in Bird News

Friday 23rd November 2012


Two Great Northern Divers off the beach today were presumably additional to those counted by ML in Torbay itself. No grebes seen off here however.

Posted November 23rd, 2012 at 8:12 pm in Bird News


Caught a few birds in the garden this morning, including a female Blackcap, the 6th or 7th this autumn.

On Wrafton pond 13 Wigeon, 2 female Shoveler and a drake Gadwall.

Posted November 23rd, 2012 at 6:26 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Devils Point, Plymouth

A quick look from Devils Point today. Just one Great Northern Diver and an adult Med. Gull. Wish I could have got myself down there yesterday!!

Posted November 23rd, 2012 at 6:17 pm by Roy McCarthy in Bird News

River Caen/ River Taw.

1100-1500hrs   Very quiet on the river today after all the gunfire on wednesday.Only one swan(mute) seen. At the mouth of the caen on the salt marsh and in the air 1000+ Golden plover and 300+ Lapwing. At least 4 Spoonbill on isley marsh.

Posted November 23rd, 2012 at 4:11 pm in Bird News

Aveton Gifford

Quiet on the estuary highlighted by 7 common sandpipers.

Female blackcap and 2 chiffchaffs by slipway below car park.

Posted November 23rd, 2012 at 2:07 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Torbay & Clennon Valley

A sweep of the beaches this morning produced totals of: 16 Great Northern Divers, 3 Red-throated Divers, 9 Black-necked Grebes, 1 Slavonian Grebe, 12 Great Crested Grebes, 43 Common Scoter and 2 Red-breasted Mergansers. 3 Cirl Buntings on seed at Broadsands and a Redpoll flew over.

Clennon Valley: 2 Firecrest, 8 Chiffchaff, 1 abietinus/tristis Chiffchaff non calling, 7 Goldcrest, 1 Brambling, 3 Snipe, 4 Water Rail. 

Posted November 23rd, 2012 at 12:47 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Brixham Breakwater

Early morning walk along Brixham breakwater.

  11 Purple Sandpiper near the end by old fuel jetty, 6 Turnstones as well.

Posted November 23rd, 2012 at 10:40 am by Nigel Smallbones in Bird News


Tree Sparrow - a regular visitor to a friend's garden feeder (Paul Fivian)

Tree Sparrow, Paul Fivian, Kingsbridge 22.11.2012

Posted November 23rd, 2012 at 12:03 am in Bird News

Thursday 22nd November 2012

Red Kite

Had a call from Malcolm to say he saw a red kite over the a361 nr South Molton today

Posted November 22nd, 2012 at 7:47 pm by David & Gillian Churchill in Bird News


Lunchtime visit to Broadsands and Elberry Cove produced: 5 Great Northern Divers, 6 Black-necked Grebes, 9 Great Crested Grebes, 33 Common Scoter, 2 Red-breasted Mergansers - mostly sheltering  close to shoreline between Elberry Cove and the mussel farm buoys. The walk back over Elberry Headland was interesting - I was nearly blown over twice! Keep away from the cliff edges if anyone ventures out...

Posted November 22nd, 2012 at 2:14 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Berry Hd

The wind is still building from the SSW at the moment but it was gusting to force 10 according to the Brixham Coastguards when I left! Not surprisingly few birds were on the move, the highlights being 1 Manx Shearwater, 1 Little Gull and a Great Skua - BUT - the cetaceans where brilliant! At least 6 Harbour Porpoise often surfing the waves and some leaping clear of the water, then a pod of 8 Bottle-nosed Dolphins with a medium sized calf moved south and better still two White-beaked Dolphins feeding off the end of the headland about 600m offshore initially, although they were underwater much of the time they stayed in the area for 20+minutes from 0950hrs before moving off south.  

MD & IL stayed on until 14:40, with little reward other than another Bonxie, Balearic Shearwater and 6 Common Scoter.

Posted November 22nd, 2012 at 12:47 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

Waxwing at Salcombe

This Waxwing is gorging on berries this morning in a private garden at Salcombe (South Hams). Thanks to Sara Lovick for the news and photos.

Waxwing (c) Sara Lovick
Waxwing (c) Sara Lovick

Waxwing (c) Sara Lovick
Waxwing (c) Sara Lovick

Posted November 22nd, 2012 at 11:18 am by Steve Waite in Bird News

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